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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Hon. Emery Elwood

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 741-742 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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As is set out elsewhere in this work, in a reference to the death of the late Judge Emery Elwood of Montgomery county, there were few men in that county or throughout that section of the Mohawk valley who were better known or who were held more dearly in the affections of their neighbors than was he. It therefore is but proper and fitting that in this definite history of the region in which his long and useful life was spent there should be presented a brief tribute to the good memory he left at his passing.

Emery Elwood, better known in the community in which he so long resided as "Judge" Elwood, was born in the town of Minden in Montgomery county on August 19, 1850, and was a son of Henry D. and Evy Ann (Klock) Elwood, both members of old families here in the valley. Henry D. Elwood was a great-grandson of Richard Elwood, the progenitor of this line of the Elwoods in America, who came to the colonies from England in the year 1748 and established his home just east of the St. Johnsville settlement in Montgomery county, this state. On that place he put up a stone house which is still standing and which has a large local historical value, for during the War of the Revolution the substantial character of this house made it available as a point of local defense equal to or better than the common blockhouses of the period, and it came to be known as Fort Klock, a name which still clings to it. This pioneer Richard Elwood was of that family of Elwoods which had among its members Thomas Elwood, a great and good friend of John Milton.

In 1867 the Henry D. Elwood family moved from the old home farm in the Minden neighborhood to the town of Florida, where Judge Elwood's son, Walter Elwood, is now living, and it was on this latter place that Emery Elwood grew to manhood. After his marriage he established his home there and on that place spent the remainder of his life, one of the best known men in the whole community. Judge Elwood was a stanch republican and for many years was looked upon as one of the leaders of that party in Montgomery county. For two terms he served the people as justice of the peace in and for the town of Florida and it was thus that he came to be known familiarly as Judge Elwood. During the years 1916-17 he also served in a public capacity as the representative from the town of Florida on the board of county supervisors. Judge Elwood was a Knight Templar and Royal Arch Mason, affiliated with St. George's Commandery, K. T., at Schenectady and with Chapter No. 81, R. A. M., at Amsterdam. His interest in the work of this chapter was particularly pronounced and for years he served as high priest of the chapter. He was raised a Mason in Artisan Lodge, No. 84, F. & A. M., at Amsterdam in 1892 and was a past worshipful master of that lodge. Judge Elwood died on December 29, 1923, and was buried with Masonic honors, his funeral being very largely attended, for he had many friends who thus sought to pay a last tribute to a memory that long will be kept green in the community.

Emery Elwood was twice married. In 1880 he was united in marriage to Miss Catherine Lingenfelter, who died in 1906. To that union was born a son, Walter Elwood, the well known author, who is now living on the old home place, Rural Mail Route No. 1 out of Amsterdam, concerning whom further mention is made elsewhere in this work. In 1918 Judge Elwood was married to Mrs. Sarah Lingenfelter, who survives him.

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